The Philippines has joined a broad coalition of nations that have expressed concern about the use of arbitrary arrest or detention by states of foreign nationals to exercise leverage over foreign governments.
In a statement sent to the Embassy of Canada in Manila on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Philippines remains deeply committed to supporting any endeavor consistent with and which advances the country’s international obligations under relevant human rights treaties, as well as its policy on the primacy of the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and the functioning of legal systems.
Launched on February 15, 2021, by the government of Canada, the declaration aims to protect citizens of all countries who live, work and travel abroad through a concerted commitment to core principles of human rights, consular relations, the rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary, which are all universal values firmly grounded in international law.
The declaration also calls on all States to take concrete steps to prevent and put an end to harsh conditions in detention; denial of access to legal counsel; torture, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
The Canadian Foreign Minister who led the launching said all cases of arbitrary detention, whether they target Canadian nationals, dual nationals, nationals of partners, and other states, are unacceptable.
Aside from the Philippines, a broad coalition of more than 60 states are endorsing the Declaration that includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, the European Union, among others